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So You Want to be a Dog Trainer?
By Jody Hancock
Entry 1 – Why Sit Happens?
So I want to be a dog trainer in Jacksonville. I’ve been a corporate executive for decades, and have travelled the world many times over, on business and on exotic vacations. But I’ve recently made a 180 degree turn in career direction, choosing to leave behind the sharks to take on the dogs. That is, I am learning to be a dog trainer. I have an unprecedented opportunity to train with Dave Stellato, the highly respected owner of Sit Happens Dog Training, who has chosen to invest time and resources in me. Our ultimate goal is for me to expand Sit Happens into areas of Jacksonville where Dave is too booked up to accommodate. But before I can do that, there is much to learn…
I’m writing this blog to share stories about learning to become a great dog obedience trainer.
I have often heard Dave’s clients refer to him as a dog whisperer, and, watching him in action, I can see why. Dave actually does not agree with this title, as he thinks it unconsciously suggests that the results he gets are not realistically attainable by the “normal” dog owner. So I’m pleased to report that, in every first lesson I have attended, I’ve witnessed Sit Happens clients executing come, sit, and place commands with their dogs successfully before the lesson is over. And I’ve seen Dave do this for a variety of clients, with a variety of dogs exhibiting a variety of bad behavior.
I’ve noticed that many dog owners who call us in for a demonstration believe that their particular dog’s issues are unique and “incurable.” They have “tried everything,” including other training services, and are still fighting the same unwanted behavior. One of the reasons that Dave is so successful is because his methodology is “train where you live.” Rather than trying to address only the single most obnoxious issue of barking, aggression, house training, jumping on people, pulling on the leash, etc., etc. – whatever it is (you get the picture) – Dave trains all client dogs to come, sit, place, and give attention in any situation, and applies it inside and outside. In no time, the dog is staying off furniture unless invited, sitting at the door until asked outside, hanging out with Mom instead of guarding (and barking!) at the front window, heeling on a leash, etc. Sit Happens clients get SO MUCH MORE than the one or two things they originally called about. In a very short time, they have calm and control in their homes and outside on walks, regardless of the distractions that might be in play.
Stories of how this comes about will be the subject of future blogs, so keep an eye out for updates!